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Declaring personal bankruptcy, either through Chapter 13 (reorganization) or Chapter 7 (liquidation), is a very serious matter that can affect a person’s credit standing for many years after.

For those suffering extreme financial hardship, filing personal bankruptcy may seem the only option.

But declaring personal bankruptcy, either through Chapter 13 (reorganization) or Chapter 7 (liquidation), is a very serious matter that can affect a person’s credit standing for many years after.

Individuals should consider bankruptcy very carefully before starting the process. To that end, it would be well worth a visit to one of several good websites with information about Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Here are a few:

—American Bar Association: Discusses bankruptcy advantages, disadvantages and alternatives. http://www.abanet.org/publiced/practical/bankruptcypros.html

—Bankruptcy Law: Serves up in-depth look at bankruptcy, including reasons for filing, 10 things a person should know about it, and an explanation of the process. http://www.bankruptcylaw.org/Basics/Good-People.html

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—FindLaw: Features bankruptcy basics, with a special focus on Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. http://bankruptcy.findlaw.com/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/

—Internal Revenue Service: Manuals that lay out the legal guidelines and procedures for filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. http://www.irs.gov/irm/part5/irm(UNDERSCORE)05-017-009.html

—U.S. Courts: Provides overview to all forms of bankruptcy, including Chapters 7 and 13. http://www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts/bankruptcybasics.html

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